Doing Cultural Studies
The Story of the Sony Walkman
- Paul du Gay - Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
- Stuart Hall
- Linda Janes - The Open University, Portsmouth University, UK
- Anders Koed Madsen - TANTLab - Aalborg University Copenhagen, Denmark, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark, Aalborg University, Denmark
- Hugh Mackay - Open University in Wales, United Kingdom
- Keith Negus - Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK
Communication Research Methods | Research Methods for Cultural Studies | Sociology of Culture
- LSE Review of Books
Why think about the Walkman in the 21st century? Can the Walkman help us understand today’s media and cultural practices? Through the notion of the 'circuit of culture', this book teaches students to critically examine what culture means, and how and why it is enmeshed with the media texts and objects in their lives. Students will:
- Unpack the key concepts of contemporary culture, such as mobility, materiality, consumption and identity
- Learn to think about some of the cultural conundrums of the present and their relation to the past, such as branding culture
- Look with fresh eyes at today's media world and the cultural practices it gives rise to
- Gain practical experience with the historical comparative method
- Practice their critical skills with up-to-date exercises and activities
In today's world, with economy the central tenet of contemporary culture and popular culture and finance inextricably linked, this exemplary Walkman study will be a template and a source of inspiration for scholars who appreciate the materiality of culture and continuity between production and consumption.
Professor of Management Studies, University of Gothenburg
This publication provides a welcome opportunity to return to a classic text of cultural studies pedagogy and to apply its insights to contemporary issues of culture, media and identity and their connections to the production and consumption of technology. The combination of the original Walkman case study with useful 'back to the future' sections provides a great opportunity for students to reflect on the cultural meanings of smart phones, social media and user-generated knowledge.
Dr Richard Elliott
School of Media, Film and Music, University of Sussex
Arguably the most famous book in its field, Doing Cultural Studies: the Story of the Sony Walkman is the text that lead to Cultural Studies becoming a respected and accepted discipline throughout the rest of the world.... Any 21st century observer might object and ask, somewhat perplexed, “who owns a Walkman nowadays?”... 16 years after the first edition, the authors can now write in a comparative fashion between two eras: ‘Comparing the cultural practices associated with the Walkman with the practices related to modern Web-based mobile devices reveals both continuities and changes in the ways such technologies have been represented, identified with, produced, consumed and regulated, and the way they have been discussed in the media as well as in academic debates within the cultural and social sciences’ (p. xii).
In theoretical terms, the legacy of Doing Cultural Studies confirms that this classic read is not just about the Walkman itself, but represents a series of clear observations about the symbolic meanings of culture... This fundamental reading on Cultural Studies should be read not only by students and scholars in this particular field, but by students in a variety of domains including sociology of culture, political economy of culture, popular music studies, media studies, and marketing. Non-scholars will also be able to follow it and appreciate its numerous ideas. Most importantly, those who read this book’s first edition many years ago must read this enriched second edition as it remains timely and relevant for today, in its accurate understanding of how we, collectively, identify and consume culture. The now forgone era of the Walkman serves as a useful comparison about how some things seem to change or can remain the same in subtle ways. That is what academic books are made for.
Read the full review here
Book combines quite interestingly the analysis of a specific cultural phenomenon with elementary knowledge from the described field. It helps to connect contemporary issues with tradition and recognized authors within cultural studies. I recommend it.
The book is highly interesting but essentially focused on media studies rather than on a more linguistic approach to the study of intercultural differences and similarities. Although I recommended some of the readings to my students, this is the main reason why I did not adopt it as a main coursebook.
This is a fabulous update of a classic text in cultural studies. I will definitely be utilizing it in a range of future courses.
Intersting take on a cultural phenomenon
Valuable text with contemporary issues identified and well addressed
Some really useful case studies and readings are included in this text.
Really accessible material.
The selected readings are great discussion starters and serve as a great introduction to some key thinkers!
There is something quite eery about the fact that the current cohorts of students barely remember the walkman at all and my impression is that produsage is variably engaged in, most notably because of huge variance in ICT training.
Sample Materials & Chapters
Doing Cultural Studies: Making Sense of the Walkman
Doing Cultural Studies: Introduction